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Sunday, November 4, 2012

Two year and 18 days

I thought about writing today but I felt like I needed to bravely suffer through it. I ended up being so distracted with life that the suffering didn't seem much like suffering at all. Then tonight came. I planned to go to church and find some comfort and encouragement through the preacher's translations of God's scripted lessons. I made good on those plans but when I got there God laughed and said
, "You thought this is where you'd find me tonight?" I replied, "That's what I thought, it was so a year ago, but I see I was wrong", so I left. 
My eyes haven't rained all day but then a good friend told me he missed his chance to say goodbye to someone he knew that passed away today. And I was reminded of........... then my cheeks became the path of a waterfall. I realize instead of trying to be strong, submitting to my weaknesses is courageous in itself. I miss my daughter and I was afraid to revisit the pain that comes along with that. I'm not afraid anymore. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

12 Months 1 day

Yesterday made a year since my KoKo left this existence. For the last few days my anticipation of the anniversary of the day my daughter died caused me to mope around aimlessly not sure of how I felt. I found myself becoming involved with monotonous time passers like Words With friends on Facebook and flipping through magazines without reading them. I had every intention of blogging but couldn't bring myself to actually do it.
Before we left to Great Adventure 10-17-2010
Also referred to as the day KoKo died
Initially in a sad attempt to conquer a potential stigma, I planned a trip to Great Adventure's fright fest, but slowly most who planned on attending backed out. By Thursday the only remaining attendees were myself, my oldest daughter and my second to youngest sister. Oh, and her friend. A fun filled trip this did not make. By Friday  the thought of the small group of us driving for two hours to supposedly get thrills and chills on roller coasters only gave me thrills and chills of dread. Needless to say we did not go.
My daughter was very disappointed. I tried to explain to her what I was feeling and why the trip was cancelled but she didn't seem to understand. I hope she does one day.

Sunday October 16th, prompted by a dream I had two nights before, I got up and went to church. The message pertained to quite a few things going on in my life. The pastor spoke about the invisible army God has in place for us during our times of trials and tribulations. Guardian angels and such, that deliver our prayers to the creator. Before I continue I must explain for those that don't know. I'm not a christian or church goer, but I am very spiritual and I know there is a God. Uwakokunre passing over had me questioning a lot of my beliefs because I was confused, and that confusion sowed a seed of doubt. That doubt only led to more confusion and I just wasn't sure anymore.

My dreams I believe, sometimes serve as windows into the spiritual world and allow me to see that which I cannot when I am conscious. Anytime I dream I was in church, I go to church that same sSunday. And without fail, each time I go the preacher not only touches, but focuses on a subject that pertains to me and the things going on in my life at that moment.  This Sunday was no different. In addition to the sermon the Pastor anointed everyone in oil and took personal prayers anointed those, blessed and burned them. I asked my mom, who is a member of this church along with one of my sisters, has he done this before to which she replied "not since I've been coming". I confirmed a lot that day, but it does't compare to what takes place on the next.

Monday October 17th, I started the day with a post on Facebook requesting everyone to wear pink in commemoration of KoKo and her favorite color. After returning from dropping my youngest to school I argued with my 'not boyfriend' about something ridiculous. I was emotionally numb to pretty much everything he said and awkwardly drifted through the rest of the day avoiding him.

KoKo and Me (her mommy)
New Years eve 2009
I decided to go to a spiritual class being held at the church I went to the day before, later that evening. My mom showed interest in going so we decided to go together.  Me looking forward to that was one of the most eventful things of the day.  No grand displays of tears, no ultimately depressive sadness, no displaced anger. Just an overall lull of emotional silence that lasted until dinner time.

I prepared dinner for the family before I left to pick up my mother. After parking in front of the church I noticed there was very few cars. It crossed my mind that the class may have been cancelled but we went in anyway. We were greeted by a nice older man emptying water on the sidewalk who to old us that everyone left and class was cancelled. His claim was backed up by a sign on the door leading to the sanctuary stating in stead of class the Pastor will be preaching at a revival taking place in the next town. My mom and me stood there contemplating what to do next. After a couple of 'its up to you' exchanges, I told her I was curious to see what was happening. So we went.

Pastor Ron B. Christian.
This is the best picture
I could get wit my camera
but trust me the shirt is pink. 

The service was encouraging, uplifting and motivating. And on top of everything else the Pastor had on a pink shirt, and there was a pink miniature church on the alter behind him! Whether she followed us there or led the way, I felt KoKo's spirit was present in this place. My heart was the most at ease then it had been in the last year.
I was so touched by the pastors unconscious gesture of commemoration, I prayed that I got a chance to see him face to face to thank him. Unfortunately he dipped out of the back door right after his sermon.

When me and my mom got back to the car I sat and spoke to her about how the revival the the pastors message affected me. That's when the tears started to roll. I didn't cry because I was sad. Don't get me wrong I was and will always be hurt about the way Uwakokunre died, and her absence will always leave a hole in my heart, but I cried tears of relief sitting in my car after a revival in a church I'd never been to. I felt and feel like all of the puzzle pieces flying around in my head are finally starting to fit together. The weight on my heart isn't so heavy anymore and I am starting to accept that what will be will be. But it doesn't stop there.
After finding our way back to the parkway my mom calls one of my sister's who happened to be at TGIF's.  The thing is my mother asked me did I feel like going before we got on the parkway and I decided against it. I wasn't in the mood to be around average Joe's and common Jane's in a loud environment drinking alcohol and eating fried foods. But as soon as I heard my sister was there something told me to go. So we went.
As we walked through the large heavy doors, my mom questionexclaims "Is that my pastor!?" I looked around thinking she saw him on T.V. or something, but lo and behold there he was tucked away in an empty corner of TGIF's in West Orange. He was accompanied by two other people, one of whom I knew from going out with my mom. I was flabbergasted!!  I was able to thank him for wearing pink on the anniversary of my daughters death.

The Lord works in mysterious ways but if we dissolve ourselves, open our souls and really listen, we'll find it's not as mysterious as it seems. Everything happens for a reason and for a reason everything happens.
My baby is no longer here with me in the flesh but I have excepted that in the spirit she is in and around me always.
That being said I'm considering this being my last post. I do wish I posted more often but I rest assured in the fact that I posted when I was suppose to. Writing helps me a great deal and Losing My Pink KoKo has been a great deal of help. Thank you to all who've read and shared in my journey during the year after my daughter died. I hope that I'm not the only one who's benefitted from this.
Scratch that. I know I'm not the only one who's benefitted from this. So who knows, if the spirit tell me to, I may continue. Until then...... Amen

Everyday God is good and God is good everyday. 

Saturday, August 27, 2011

9 Months 26 Days

Along with SMA, KoKo had PKU, which is a metabolic disorder that affects the kinds of food she can eat. She was the only person medically documented in America with both diseases. Her doctors found this fact interesting because both deceases are degenerative hereditary conditions, and the chances of a child being born with both was one in a few million.

KoKo isn't the only one out of my children with PKU. My 14 year old daughter has this condition as well, and her and KoKo share the same metabolic specialist.

Our last visit to see my girls PKU doctor was about a month before KoKo died. You can imagine my hesitancy to go there again. Since KoKo's birth our visits to see this doctor was a bonding time for my two girls. It was something they were comrades in. They had to drink a special formula and was limited to certain foods to keep the PKU in check. In short neither of them had to jump this life long hurdle alone.
Now that KoKo's gone the thought of going back for my teenager's checkup made me extremely anxious. I'd never been there without both my girls. Even when my 14 years old was living with my aunt and grandmother, when she was little, we coordinated their visits together. I was terrified of being overwhelmed with KoKo's obvious absence, and that fear made me conveniently "miss" the appointment scheduled in June.
KoKo and Montsho
I know this was extremely selfish of me. My teenager bugs me regularly about going to her PKU doctor. She's old enough to understand that she needs to be monitored and the time between visits had been very long.
I know that losing one child does not stop my responsibilities to my other children. Even in death life still continues, but the dread that I felt as the appointment day approach rendered me.....immobile......frantic......depressed. My allergies even went haywire the day before the appointment. My mental state had turned on the body that was its captor.

The doctors secretary called me a week later to inform me that I missed my daughters visit. I'm embarrassed to say I played stupid and acted like I thought it was July 27th not June 27th. I rescheduled for August.

The day came for me and my 14 year old to go to her appointment. Everything about that day was exactly what I feared. I scheduled medical transportation two days prior, and though it was the same company that took KoKo back and forth to school everyday, it wasn't a medical vehicle at all. We were picked up in a green minivan, with no lift or special equipment that I'm use too. KoKo's absence was painfully clear and reflected in everything that went on that day. We got to the doctor and the elevator was empty, reminding me of all the times I wished it was vacant of other people so I could avoid rolling over  toes and bumping into legs with KoKo's wheel chair.

Being the first appointment of the day we saw the doctor ten minutes after our arrival. Everything with my teenager was routine, and then the doctor asked me how I was doing.
I couldn't' contain the tears. My eyes welled with so much water I could barely see.
We spoke about how the kids were handling our family disaster as well as the recovery process. By the time our visit was over my makeup was wrecked and I was emotionally spent. We finished our appointment revisiting some memories of KoKo and double checking my teenagers diet plan.

When the transportation picked us up we had a fellow rider. An old Egyptian man that rode with us and KoKo on various occasions to the doctors office. I said hello and he didn't recognize me. When I mentioned my daughter he remembered instantly and asked how she was doing.
I've recounted the events surrounding KoKo's death over a hundred times now. And every time I do it it's like opening a new wound all over again.  

Monday, June 27, 2011

7 Months 26 days

My mind has been very unsettled lately.
Visions of KoKo dominate my thoughts. It seems as though everything I look at remind me of her. My youngest son blurts out at the most random moments "Mommy, KoKo died?" or "Mommy KoKo died." It's happened 5 times this week alone. It always causes silence in anyone within earshot. My man thinks him saying that is inappropriate. "He's too young" he reprimands every time he hears my son make the statement or ask the question.  I don't think there's a problem with it personally. Death comes to us all eventually.

I've been getting light invisible caresses against my legs and shoulders recently. Some spiritual beliefs dictates that this is a sign that something is trying to contact you from the spirit world. That along with my renewed interest in SMA and other children that suffer and has died from the disease, makes me wonder if it's KoKo spirit making the hair on the back of my neck stand on end. Is it possible that God allows the souls that completes their cycle to revisit loved ones on the earthly plane? If that is the case I wish it was a little more obvious. I would love to see my baby walk towards me uninhibited by her human form. What do I need to do to make this happen? What candle do I need to light? What incense do I need to burn? What prayer do I need to recite or spell do I need to conjure? Just a few clear finite moments, please! That's all I ask.

When I walked into the hospital room that horrible night, I didn't feel her soul at all. My conscious mind looked at her and wanted to believe she was still earth bound, but my spirit knew the truth. I knew she was gone back to our creator. I knew that her life energy had become part of The One again. My soul and mind was also in agreement that somebody was accountable for her leaving me prematurely. Someone was a tool in my daughters demise and I began to hate her.

I looked for the nurse that was responsible for KoKo's well being while I was gone. When she saw me the fear in her eyes almost made me abandon my confronting her. For a split second I wondered if she had children and who was watching them while she worked.  I ignored the thought, and interrogated her in a private room in the ER. All she did was repeat "I'm sorry, I don't know what happened" like a broken record, as she clutched the thick blue folder that held the nurses reports from the last few weeks.  If I'd suspected she was going to leave without letting me know, I would've taken the folder from her to see if she had noted anything out of the ordinary.
I didn't know what to do. I felt so helpless and out of control.  I couldn't, and still can't forgive myself for not being with Uwakokunre when she left this plane of existence.  After I couldn't get any answers from the nurse and fighting the urge to put my hands around her neck, I left her alone in the room.

When I got back to the curtain my daughter was behind, I pulled it back to find some of my sisters in the room crying over KoKo's body. For some reason my tears dried up and my sisters seemed like strangers to me. I wondered why they where crying, what was they sad about.  As many times as KoKo has been in the hospital, very few ever came to visit her. Trying to be compassionate in a situation that is foreign to most of my family, I pushed the thought aside.

My oldest daughter came in with tears in her eyes and her shoulders hunched over a few minutes later. I could tell she was hesitant and didn't want to believe she wouldn't see her sister again. She approached KoKo's body and kissed her on the cheek as she sobbed.
In the past when it came to her helping to take care of KoKo, I struggled on occasion with my eldest. I would get so angry when she forgot to change her sister, or put her feeding up when I told her to. Being the eldest myself, I couldn't understand how she didn't feel automatically responsible for her younger siblings. How could she look at her youngest damn near helpless sister and not want to make her life as comfortable as possible. Nonetheless I constantly explained the importance of KoKo's care to all of my other children, and I was sure with enough repetition one day it would stick.
My Mother looked very confused behind the tears streaming down her face. Though I knew she was at the house with the nurse,  I didn't feel like she was responsible. I think I put her in a category with all of the children in the house titled 'doesn't know any better'.

As I write about what I was thinking that night, I feel like I was being judgmental. I don't think I was judging the people around me. I'm not one to judge so easily because I don't like to be judged. I think my anger was a little displaced and in actuality I was mad at EVERYBODY.  None of these things really matter anymore, but at the time, they mattered so much. Maybe they shouldn't have.

I thought there would be more time for all of my children to develop a better sense of empathy and sympathy for their sister before the inevitable.  I guess God decided that what they learned was sufficient. As for the rest of my family, I'm sure they had every intention to come visit the hospital the next time around. No one knew the next time would be the last.
As they say, we make plans and God laughs. 

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

6 Months 6 days

It's been a while since I've posted. A lot has been going on. In other words I've been so busy with work and play that my mind has been distracted from my sorrows. Until Mother's day that is.

I noticed among all of my Mothers day wishes I received via text messages, there was a large group of people that did not reach out to me. My brother for one, my "God father/baba" (for lack of a better description) and all of my wonderful spiritual siblings. And to make matters worse, one of them called my sister and spoke to my mom. Nothing for me though. What the hell was going on?!! KoKo grew up with these people! How can they supposedly be on the path of riotousness when they don't practice the most common belief parallel in all religions. 'Do unto other's as you would have them do unto you' and 'What goes around come around'. Well I have one thing to say to them all...Karma is a fat hungry bitch and the kitchen cabinets are bare.

Anyway, I dusted my shoulders off real quick and decided to reach out to my baba's wife. Since I don't personally have her number I had to call his. To make a long story short, he answered, I had angry words with him concerning the fact he hasn't reached out sing KoKo passed, to which he denied. After 20 minutes of listening to him BS me, I cut the conversation short by telling him to wish his wife a happy Mother's day for me.  I guess he did because I got a text message saying "same to you" from a phone number I didn't recognize.

Now that I've gotten that off my chest, back to business at hand.
I've been going through some of my videos of KoKo and I compiled a few of them spanning from 2008 to 2010.  Every time I watch it the rest of my children surround me and we share in happy memories, special moments and funny times. I have some other videos of my daughter when she was a baby but I have to pull them off of DV somehow and get them onto my computer to edit. Nonetheless, there will be more to come.
I am smiling now and will continue as much as possible from here on.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

5 Months 5 Days

I was in the kitchen last night sharing out dinner for my family. The mood was joyous. My oldest was playing music from her Ipod for her little brother to dance to. My boyfriend was sharing his food out with a smile on my face. My two other children where giggling and laughing at something I don't even know. Everything seemed perfect. Then I realized someone was missing.
At that moment it hit me what Michael Jackson's song (which I'd always skip on the CD) 'Gone Too Soon' was about. So I went on you tube and played it right in the middle of all the happiness.

My boyfriend rolled his eyes and looked at me like 'why'd you have to go and do that?' I felt a little guilty ruining the moment, but for some reason it seemed appropriate. He then told me he was going to make a collage with pictures of KoKo and that song in the background. I told him he should totally do it. Until that happens I want to include the song in this post.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

4 Months 27 Days

Uwakokunre's birthday was last wednesday, March 16th. Though the day started off kind of rough, it turned out to be a good day. 

I planned a small get together with the family to celebrate the day she would be 10 years old. But like many of my "unofficial" gatherings, this turned out to be quite the shindig. My aunts and grandmother came. My sister and her boyfriend, who I didn't expect to show cause they had plans of their own, joined us. Even one of my younger sisters' mother stopped by. 

When I first decided to celebrate KoKo's birthday, I knew I risked setting the stage for a possible cry fest. Thankfully the curtain never raised on that performance. It was all smiles and laughter just as if KoKo was there. Near the end, one of my younger sister's dropped a few tears. But I announced that I refused to let any water escape my eyes, and the moment passed and ended in smiles. 

It took me a while to get myself started that morning. I had shopping and cooking to do, but I just couldn't motivate myself to do it. Though the weather was warm and sunny, and it was a beautiful day, for a good 10 minutes I actually canceled the party. Obviously I changed my mind.  

The only picture I have
taken that day.
The night before KoKo's birthday I sat on the edge of my bed thinking about how she looked when I finally walked into the hospital room after a grueling 105 minute drive from Great Adventure. I tried to prepare myself for the scene of her laying there lifeless as I rode in the passenger seat of my truck. I called the hospital about 15 times for updates as to what was going on since she was taken from home by the ambulance.  After the 10th time everybody I spoke to told me the same thing. "The doctor will speak to you when you get here." I had a pretty good idea what I was in store for at the end of my journey. I continued to call for two reasons. One, to give myself something to do during the long ride, and two, I hoped I could trick one of the nurses into telling me the status of my daughter. That didn't work. 

On my last call to the hospital I asked to speak to my mother who was there with KoKo. I was cruelly left on hold listening to the bustle of the emergency room while I strained to hear any conversation with the subject matter of a 9 year old, SMA or Uwakokunre Ayinde.  My mother never came to the phone and after about 10 minutes on hold someone finally just hung up. 

As we saw the sign to the East Orange exit off of the parkway, my heart was racing faster then it ever had in my whole life. Besides for the whimpers of my sisters sobbing in the back, the truck was silent.

At her checkup 10/13/2010
As soon as we pulled into the parking lot I jumped out the car and ran inside. The hallway from the main emergency entrance to the door the security guard directed me to, stretched out in front of me like a scene in phycological thriller. I could't feel my feet touching the floor, and my armpits where tingling with the onset of perspiration.  I could feel an asthma attack coming on as I prayed over and over in my head 'please lord let my baby be alright'. 

As soon as I walked through the doors where the nurses station was, the whole staff seemed to look at me as if they knew who I was there for. An asian woman asked me if I was Ayinde's mother, and by her body language I could tell what curtain my baby was behind. Everything was a blur. I think I whisked  passed my uncles wife who worked at the hospital, but honestly I don't remember much of what my eyes were seeing before the sight I was most dreading. 

When I pulled back the curtain the first face I looked for was my moms. I wasn't ready to see KoKo's body yet.  I needed somebody to confirm what I feared before my suspicions became a reality. I thought that would make the blow less painful. But when I saw the tears streaming down my mothers cheeks, I felt like someone punched me in the stomach, and I immediately bent over in the direction of the bed where my daughters body lay. She was gone! Oh my god please no! I wasn't here! 

She looked like she was only sleeping. Her hair looked as though there was still life in the strands.
The color of her skin was fair and golden, not pale and grey like I thought it would be. Her cheeks, torso and hands where still warm. Not cold and stiff like they portray on T.V. 
Maybe the Dr.'s made a mistake. 

KoKo chillin' with her little brother
3 days earlier 10/14/2010
I wanted to shake her but I was afraid if I did and she was still alive, me shaking her would kill her. I lifted up the sheet that was covering her body and saw her wrists and ankles bound with medical tape. There was an open ended tube coming out of her mouth that I knew led to her lungs. Something told me to check her teeth and I found them broken as a result of the barbaric unskilled attempt to intubate her so she could breath. 

I was so angry. Angry at myself for not being there. Angry at myself for letting a nurse I didn't know well take care of her. Angry at myself for not taking her to the beach that summer. Angry at myself for for going somewhere so far away to have fun. Angry at myself for not being there....... Disappointed in myself for not being home......Mad at me for not being with her. 

We as individuals  know the truth that is in our own hearts and minds. Some of us try to fool ourselves into believing what we know to be true, is not true at all. We  lie to ourselves so that our wrong doings don't seem as wrong as we know they are.  Some are good at this and others aren't. 

Some of those that aren't turn to substances, like drugs and alcohol, to forget and dull the guilt and pain that comes with knowing our true selves. Some of those that are, pray to a higher power with the belief and excuse that one must only ask for forgiveness and they are forgiven (can anybody say presumptuous?).

Then there is the question of someone committing a trespass against us. As the victim we may either forgive them or remove them from our lives.   

I believe in my heart if I stayed home that day, KoKo would still be alive. 

What do you do when even for a moment you can't forget, you don't believe in a God that absorbs the repercussions of your actions just because you said please, and you are the person you won't forgive?